Quaker's Dozen


Quaker's Dozen

Sir R-----, my fine friend! The coming of spring always puts one in excellent spirits, do you not find? Speaking of which, come join me in a glass of this particularly peaty whiskey with which we might toast her imminent arrival!

Might I tempt you with a little sport to quicken the blood still further?

It lifts my soul to hear it Sir!

I have in mind a game that I learned when in passage to the new world with a company of twelve Quakers. I was not especially relishing the prospect of yet another monotonous transatlantic crossing and so you can imagine my relief when I spied the boisterous party embarking, dressed in the finest silks and satins and singing a bawdy tavern ballad as they took turns at a bottle of what looked like a very fine brandy indeed!
I ingratiated myself with them in short order and, to my delight, discovered during our first night's meal at sea that they were no less keen sportsmen than I. Naturally, we followed each evening's repast at the captain's table with cigars, brandy, tales of derring-do and, most importantly, dice. Given my natural talent for wager, I was most surprised that I found myself unable to best them; at least until the final night of our voyage.
After I had retired with a small loss at the table the previous night, my fellow travellers continued their revels well into the following day. In consequence, they did not quite have their wits about them and at the evening's close I had had for my prize the contents of their purses, the entirety of their cargo and, indeed, the very shirts and blouses off of their backs.
For the sake of their modesty I procured for them some plain labourer's clothing from the purser; they cut a sorry sight disembarking in quiet contemplation of their folly, I must say!

Here, take another dram and I shall explain the rules of their game!

Your goal is to cast a higher score with this pair of dice than I shall with a single twelve sided die and if you do so you shall have one coin for every point greater that your score is than mine. Now it shall cost you two coins and twelve cents to play but if you are dissatisfied with your dice you may cast them again for a further cost of one coin and twelve cents, and again and again for the same cost each time until you are satisfied, at which point I shall cast mine.

When I told that godforsaken student, who fate has cruelly decreed that I cannot evade, he began cooing about a gal named Constance with whom he had become quite struck. That the coming of spring will surely invigorate saplings as well as oaks must come as cold comfort to the poor benighted maiden.

But let us not dwell upon her misfortune! Let me refresh your glass whilst you decide whether to play!

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